Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A Misked-up Stragety

Rich here again.  Gotta give Susan at least a couple of breaks during the hell, er, experience that is NaBloPoMo.  I also like to blog about things I find funny or interesting before they slip out of my head like a random piece of spaghetti through a strainer.  (Man, I *hate* it when that happens!  The spaghetti, I mean.)

I asked Andrew this morning if he wanted a snack.  Without delay, he said he wanted some "misk" and pointed at the part of the counter where we keep cereal, chips, snacks, and bread.  I did not want to show him how flummoxed I was at the request, so I paused and said "Sorry, little guy, I didn't hear you.  Can you tell me again what you want?"  Without delay "Misk.  Misk." With more pointing at the counter.  As I frantically, yet calmly so as not to alarm the ever-observant boy, scan the counter I spot this:

"Misk" = Mix

"Oh, the mix!  Good job, little guy."

Before I give him the mix, though, I decide that I need to correct this issue of pronunciation.  We spend the next 2-3 minutes repeating back and forth:  "Mix, little guy."  "Misk"  "Mix, little guy"  "Misk"  "Mix"  "Misk" "No, little guy, mi-kuh-sss"  "Mi-sss-kuh"    Finally, after pronouncing every letter several times, with the emphasis on the "x," Andrew says "mi-kuh-sss." He was very proud of himself.

At dinner later that evening, we were in a restaurant with moderately loud music (great Mexican food though and a locally owned place) and I told Susan the story from this morning and said, "Andrew got it.  Right little guy?  Mix!" And I hear him repeat it, "Mix."  "That's right little guy, mix!"

To which Susan says, "Uh, he's saying 'misk'."  

I look at my boy, who is grinning with pride from ear to ear.  I smile and say "Good job, little guy."

So, there is an "apple doesn't fall far from the tree" story here.  In 6th grade I had a great history teacher.  He really challenged me, more than many of my teachers prior to that had, and did it in a way that made you feel more mature, even adult-like.  I was answering a question in class about the Germans in WWII, and I started to respond, "Their stragety was to..."  Before I could get the rest of the answer out, my teach says, "What?  Stragety?"  And the exchange goes something like:

"Yes, their stragety was..."


"Uh, yes, stragety"

"No, strategy"






"Yes, strategy"

"Strategy.  Uh, their stra-te-gy was..."

Now, I'm not bragging, but I was one of the top students in my elementary school class.  This could have potentially been seriously damaging to me since I also had a fragile ego.  But, it turned out that the other kids in the class kind of bonded with me a bit, as if to recognize that I wasn't an academic robot, that I was human and could make mistakes.  And, I learned a little lesson about myself - that it's ok to make mistakes and learn from them and that my teachers are truly here to help.

Hopefully both E & A will have that realization some day.  And, no Baby Bush jokes, please...


Marya said...

I find myself running through all the possibilities of what a word could be when I am trying to figure out what Ari says. He is now old enough to get frustrated with me and look at me like I am the problem. Makes me laugh.

mom said...

Yeah! It is with the second ones. My second one struggles with a LOT of words and I really find myself not understanding her English and therefore the real need for her to speak in Spanish. She also has the problem in Spanish, but I can detect the error, while in English I am clueless.